“I was using music to discover what I liked,” explained Lianne La Havas in a recent interview, “Womanhood, feeling like an adult, but not being quite mature yet – I wanted to celebrate that.” The 25 year old singer-songwriter’s second album Blood is just about to be released after a three year hiatus which saw debut Is Your Love Big Enough? gain commercial success.
And, while Is Your Love Big Enough? introduced us to her honey-sweet vocals and confessional lyrics, Blood is an altogether more comfortable affair. ‘Green and Gold’ reads like a diary entry and while it’s not explicitly vulnerable in any way, it still makes her endearing and likeable. Unfortunately this doesn’t last long and La Havas gets too comfortable mid album, with the likes of ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Grow’ falling flat despite their blissed-out delivery.
The album does, though, return to the glory heard on opener ‘Unstoppable’, with ‘Can’t Get Enough’ and album finale ‘Good Goodbye’. Both songs are beautifully written and beautifully delivered, but any poignancy sadly becomes lost amongst the filler material of their predecessors. Blood should be a deeply personal album, given La Havas took inspiration for it from her Jamaican heritage, but instead we are only allowed glimpses of someone with a flawless vocal technique and strong songwriting style. Just when it seems La Havas is going to let us in to her world, exposing all her hopes and doubts, she converts back into old, clichéd love-lorn territory; offering sweet songs that seem to fade into background music.
La Havas did say that she doesn’t feel quite so mature yet, so hopefully with her next offering she will have grown into the fearless, soul bearing woman that is clearly hiding behind that soulful voice.